Sunday, July 5, 2009

The lesser of two evils. = Crossroad

I don't handle dismissal well - especially when I believe I matter. And I believe it because purpose and place have been defined through endless opportunities and shared experiences while developing trust. I then come to know where I am most welcomed and who I am in the lives of others and the same is true for them in my life. I come to value and hold very dear the place and space I have made for someone and I also value and hold dear the place and space I believe is being held dear by them for me. This understanding is unspoken, - it just becomes. It does require nurturing, and time spent, and honesty and challenge and humor and acceptance and kindness to sustain. In other words, it is part of my life, a choice I make to give life to that space and place between me and someone else. These spaces and places have varying degrees of intimacy, contact, sharing, time, understandings of purpose and they become quite defined over time and take on an element of design specific to each person in my life. I come to know who and why someone is in my life and also why I am in theirs. I like that very much - it feels secure and true and can continue on without much fuss. I don't like fuss.

When something happens that changes the design, challenges the space and place I find that most unsettling. When I thought the space and place we each created in our lives was secure and held a defined purpose and suddenly, when I believed I would so be a part of the next chapter in that person's life and I come to know otherwise!! WTF??!!! I really don't know what to do with that change. Do I just say, "hey, whatever, call me when you think I have a place again?" That doesn't feel right at all. Also, when I care about someone and have shared in their journey and then I am left at a crossroad I feel lost. At least for that space and place reserved and honored for that person. That space and place becomes very much in the fore front, riddled with wonder and question, concern and confusion. I believed I had my place, an unshakable place, Hah!! I was quite wrong. I don't do the push pull thing well. Either I am in or I am not. That is not to say that I don't respect privacy, personal space, time to regroup etc., I just don't like being dismissed. Not only is the person dismissing me and the space and place I hold precious for them - my space and place within them is closed, as well. I find it very comforting to know that I have a space in place in people's lives. I respect that gift and value the inclusion very much.

I don't understand this part of human nature. I think it is one of the cruelest things people do to each other - Create a space and place and then close it off. I have never done that to anyone - Except to Marc which I mentioned in an earlier post and promised to write about some day. I have certainly isolated or been less than forthcoming but I found a way to do that without closing off the space and place within me unless it was the end of the relationship and we both knew that was so. As was the case with Marc. Otherwise, all the spaces and places inside me that belong to the people in my life are never closed and no one is ever left wondering and confused. I think such dismissal is selfish and cruel.

And now, here I am struggling to dismiss someone in my life. Go figure. Maybe dismiss is not the right word. I desperately want them to stay. The changes in them are so hard to ally with that keeping them close is dangerous and unhealthy. I recall and hold dear who they once were, who we once were to and for one another - except now that cannot be trusted. I have witnessed and experienced behaviors and values that have caused harm. I have tried to shed light and have not been heard. I have been accused falsely and investigated and challenged. I want to be able to tell this person why I am retreating but to do so is a risk for me on many levels. I believe there is a difference between dismissal and retreating. Or I am rationalizing so I don't appear to be the exact type of person I said is cruel. I don't have that answer. I know that the relationship is different and that the trust is broken. Where before this person would have been one of the first people I would call with news, good or bad - now this person is the last one I would call, if at all. How I/we got here is complicated and multi-faceted, - but got here, we have. The only thing that hasn't been said is that we both know it. I haven't said it because if I ever tried to explain why, well, the ramifications of that are endless. And so it is, I am silent - my silence being the lesser of two evils - a crossroad of sorts.

Perhaps those times that I felt dismissed by someone, they too believed their silence was the lesser of two evils. It is something to ponder, for sure.

And now this person has asked to meet and "clear the air". Oh my..........I don't know if this air can be cleared. Again, if I say what I know and tell why I have pulled back, first I don't believe my words will be understood or heard as valid and second I believe the information will be "spun" away from my intent and meaning to satisfy the other person's agenda. I can't even begin to imagine that my view of a good outcome is possible. And that is because it is not. So, what do I do? Meet with this person and just listen - maintain my silence and defend nothing? Don't meet and prolong the asking to meet. Quite the dilemma. And I know all about that poem about how people come in to our lives for a reason, a season, a life time, blah-blah-blah- I get it!!! :-)

Still, right now, as I come to terms with which one this person is, - it is a conflict, a reason? a season? a life time? The poem doesn't make it all hurt any less - it merely gives a language to put on my tears......

Love Gail


The Rambling Taoist said...

OK, without knowing any of the particulars of the relationship you are referring to, here's my take -- Do what feels right to you. If you feel you want to meet with this person, meet with them. If you'd rather skip it, then skip it.

Personally, I don't think any of us should have a problem with such crossroads. We need to realize that people move and grow along their own paths. Sometimes these paths merge with ours and, at other times, they diverge.

As all things in this realm are ephemeral anyway and change is the way of the universe, we need to realize people will come and go in our lives. The point is not too long for the day our paths merged, but to celebrate it as it happens and to realize it may not always be that way.

That said, I've written on my blog about my Asperger's tendency to have problems with relationships because of the inherent nature of change, especially when I was a young lad. As I age, I'm handling this inherent nature better, but not as well as I would like.

PENolan said...

While I totally appreciate and relate to the feelings you express - I'm profoundly curious about the events that triggered all this thinking.

Work? Family? Bartenders?

anne partain said...

Hi Gail, When I find myself in the kind of quandary you describe here, where nothing seems to fit and there seem to be no good answers, I wait. I wait for the One who never disappoints me to bring me around so that I can hear and know from another perspective.

It sounds to me like you are growing, and with growth comes change. Others will move out of our space. That's not to say that they aren't still a part of us, because at our core we are one. But we focus on different things, and we want different things. This other person isn't bad or wrong and neither are you, there is a place for all of us, perfectly. Sometimes we just have to move on.

By waiting for your answers to come you are allowing the greater knowing you to speak and create healing for you.

I have faith that you can get especially clear on this and that clarity will be a great gift to you and all those who are part of your life.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

As you know because you're there—there is no clear, easy, painless answer. You're hurt if you do, hurt if you don't; you don't want to hurt; you're going to hurt, get hurt, be hurt, possibly deliver and inflict hurt.

I don't know the circumstances of your situation. Don't know whether it can or can not be saved and made whole again; don't know whether you want to even if you can; don't know if you should. I do know that every road will have its share of hurt. And that's the vulnerability of like—we must put ourselves out there, open, revealed, in order to live, to experience the good things life has to offer…and in so doing, we're exposed, vulnerable, subject to great hurts. There is not way to avoid this and be a whole person. To close yourself off isn't the answer. You can never know love without risking hurt—rejection, betrayal, and a whole host of similar hurts.

I will say this by way of advice—in the end, nothing can ever be repaired until it is brought out into the open. You can ignore, pass over, excuse, spin-doctor, or simply accept it as part of the burden of the relationship, and remain silent…but it won't be fixed. And whatever it is will simply fester and hold you back from healing or enjoying. You don't need to expose yourself any more that you've done already, but I expect a decision of silence is just another way of avoiding either an admission of an already-occurred end; a sub-conscious desire to hold the cards in your hand and make a decision without saying so; or a fear of further rejection/dismissal. I say it's better to walk away with both of you knowing where the other stands, and to can carry all the guilt/anger/hurt alone. If you've been wronged, say so—in the most matter-of-fact voice you can muster. No overt anger, no begging or pity, no shame. No matter how it turns out, at least the other party has your words now inside them to contend with. But, Gail, that's just me. This may not be what you want.

You are at a crossroad. Try and figure where you want whichever road you choose to take you…and follow it as proudly and honorably and righteously (yes, righteously!) as possible.

Gail said...

Hi grizz-

Wow - ya. I hear ya.

these words you wrote ring SO true.

"but I expect a decision of silence is just another way of avoiding either an admission of an already-occurred end; a sub-conscious desire to hold the cards in your hand and make a decision without saying so; or a fear of further rejection/dismissal. I say it's better to walk away with both of you knowing where the other stands, and to can carry all the guilt/anger/hurt alone......"

thank you Grizz for taking the time, for offering real true advice and for holding me to task.

Love to you

Gail said...

Hi ANne-

"thank you" too for taking the time to offer your wisdom and insight and understanding on matters such as this. And I hear you on the 'waiting' and I have been and some things have changed - and I know I am growing and changing - I beleve I felt trapped when I was asked to meet with her- I am not ready.

THanks SO much Anne.

Love to you

Gail said...

Hi Trish -

It is work - a 10 year relationship which started as friends-co-workers, and when I got diagnosed with M S she got promoted to manager 5 years ago and it has been quite challenging to manage this dual relationship. I am at a disadvantage because she is a manager. As friends we are equal but we aren't just friends.

ack, (to quote Kevin)

Love to you

The Rambling Taoist said...

I want to address a point razed by the Grizzled One. While I certainly agree that open is preferable to closed, human interaction and relationships often don't fit in neat little boxes.

I have been in situations before and have known of others in similar situations who have chosen the tact of trying to clear the air or have attempted to end a relationship by airing differences and coming to a resolution to part ways.

Sometimes it works as intended and, sometimes, it doesn't work at all. In the latter case, all it ends up doing is to heap even more hurt on an already open wound. Far from clearing the air, it muddles things to the point that neither party knows what's up or down.

When it comes to human endeavors, there is no ONE right approach. The dynamics of every situation are different and, what might work 99 times out of 100, may not work the one time you most need it to.

Gail said...

Hi R T
I love your real honest matter-of-fact approach to life. Thank you for the levity.

And I like the "some times we merge and some times we diverge".....simple and profound. Your Asperger's has not held you back at all from where I sit. :-)

Thank you for taking the time to offer me your insight and wisdom R T. It means SO much.

Love to you

Gail said...


"thank you, again...:-) and your last comment describes my quandary quite well, - quite well indeed.

Loev Gail

Molly said...

I agree with Rambling Taoist. Do what feels right. AND don't compromise your truth.

As far as someone closing off a space to you, I think that sometimes we fit with others, and as we grow, this may shift. It isn't good/bad/right/or wrong. It just is.

Good luck with everything, my friend.

Gail said...

Hi Molly-

Always so nice to see you. :-)
And thanks for reminding me I don't have to label this "shift", it just is.

Love to you